Fall, a Time of New Beginnings

We often think of the start of the school year as the end of summer, but we can also think of it as a time of new beginnings. School kids, parents, and staff have extra challenges this year, but they’re figuring it out. They’ll evaluate what’s working and incorporate the more innovative techniques, such as virtual learning, into the future.

Autumn also begins fun weekend activities such as festivals. Although Wo-Zha-Wa has been cancelled, wisconsindells.com (click “calendar of events”) lists several “unofficial” Wo-Zha-Wa events. The Legion will have food and beer at their building on 609 Washington Ave on Saturday, 12:00-7:00, to support local veterans. Rotary Club beef sandwiches are available for drive up on Saturday, 12:00-7:00, at the old Country Kitchen site. We can also celebrate the season with music at places such as the Showboat and the Keg. Riverwalk Pub will hold the fire department’s famous coin toss game and have food and beverages and a raffle helping to support the Kilbourn Fire Department. Sidewalk sales, some of which also support local causes, are happening downtown.

Fall also begins the season which many people declare as their favorite. It may be for all its sensory delights. Hiking under golden leaf canopies or through fragrant red and orange leaves on crisp, sunny days renews our spirits. I look forward to raking the leaves into piles, delighting in their musky-sweet smell, then wrangling some kids so I can watch them jump in them. Crunch, grackle, giggle.  

This fall, let’s take a break from the stresses of our world and soak in the colors: lavender and cheery yellow mums. Decorate with deep orange pumpkins surrounding corn shucks, or patchwork lawn scarecrows sitting on golden hay bales. Visit the Farmer’s Market and buy a bouquet of purple statice, pink and red dahlias, and bright yellow sunflowers. 

Let’s savor the tastes of autumn, driving to an apple orchard and sinking our teeth into the crispest, tartest apple. The sharp intake as the tart hits our tongue. Indulge in a gooey taffy apple not caring when the caramel sticks to our teeth.  Let’s come home from a busy day to a pot roast which simmered all afternoon or indulge ourselves in a favorite fall dessert, pumpkin pie topped with whipped cream. 

Let’s appreciate the delights of fall fabrics: the wealthy smell of leather boots, the cuddly feel of fleeces and corduroys, the classic look of bulky, cable knit sweaters and tweed skirts worn with those leather boots.

Let’s grab our cameras and study how the light plays off the rich colors and take rides through the sunlit countryside. Let’s carve out time to bike on roads edged with maples or kayak on calm lakes where the golden hues of birch and maple reflect in the water. 

Fall can begin a splendid bounty of delights.

Adapted from an original “Laugh, Cry, Reflect” column.

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